In preparation for the long drive from Arizona to Chicago I purchased three books for my iPod. The first five hours of the drive I listened to CD’s. And for several hours on Saturday I listened to NPR from Stillwater, OK. But before and after that I listened to only one of the books: The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

I found this book deeply engaging from start to finish. The three narrators were fabulous and held me in rapt attention. In fact, as I grew weary from driving, or when I really had to pay attention to directions, I turned the iPod off fearing I’d be too engrossed in the book and miss an important turn.

The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963-1964. Three women play primary roles, two maids and a young woman who aspires to be writer. Through a variety of circumstances the young woman ends up interviewing women who are maids, the Help, telling for the first time their story of submission, abuse, and love. The story weaves through the assassination of JFK, the rising influence of Martin Luther King, Jr. Rosa Parks, and the young people at the lunch counter in Woolworth’s. Stories of my childhood. I was so engrossed in the book I looked forward to getting in the car each day and hearing more of the story. I dreamt about it at night. I had to be attentive to my speech, lest I start talking in the Mississippi dialect or using phrases from the book, phrases clearly from the south…In other words the book was living in me.

If you are looking for a great book to read, or better yet to listen too while knitting or driving, I highly recommend this one.


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
This entry was posted in book review, cross country drive, The Help. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Help

  1. altar ego says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! There's nothing like good companionship on a long trip, and this sounds like the perfect one.

  2. Purple says:

    Great suggestion thanks. On long drives I like to listen to books. So far, I've done books on CD, most from the library.Do you go through itunes book section to download on to your ipod?

  3. Mompriest says:

    Yes, I purchase them through iTunes audiobooks…although I think I have also purchased audiobooks through amazon and can add them to my iTunes library…it's easy!

  4. Michelle says:

    I have The Help in the pile of "to read" come summer! I'll move it up…

  5. Barbara B. says:

    Hey, we have similar taste! I read that and liked it a lot too!

  6. Katherine E. says:

    Oh, my 'walking-partner' (we walk together in the mornings) recommended that book as well. She related to so much of it.Glad you got to Chicago safely. Here's to NEW lIFE!!

  7. Jan says:

    I loved that book!! It so reminded me of the Junior League women I met in Corpus Christi when I moved here in the late 1970's. It was a complete shock then, because I had never even HEARD of the "Junior League" before.

  8. Mary Beth says:

    Ah, the Junior League, Jan: what I knew I did NOT want to be (growing up in Houston). I adored that book. It was profoundly important to me.

  9. Great. Thanks for the tip. I've been reading so much more lately and loving it.Blessings as you settle into the new place. Keep us posted on the adjustment.

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